Those of a betting persuasion could have got lofty odds on St Mirren securing a top-six finish in the Scottish Premiership this season.

But that’s exactly what The Saints have achieved – with a finish as high as fifth still a possibility.

So Stephen Robinson has worked wonders at St Mirren Park this term, with the club’s over-achievement on a par with the great success stories of the 2023/24 campaign listed below.

Luton Town

Prior to the English Premier League season getting underway, Luton Town were priced at 1/3 to face demotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

With a handful of games to go, they are still 1/3 in the Premier League relegation odds – but, by all accounts, most pundits expected them to be mathematically down weeks ago.

The fact that they still have a fighting chance of survival is down to the managerial nous of Rob Edwards, who has managed to turn a band of players – many of whom are playing their first-ever season in the top-flight – into a team that is difficult to beat.

Even if the Hatters are relegated this term, they have over-achieved – and will head into next season full of confidence.

Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich had won eleven German Bundesliga titles in a row – a pattern that looked likely to continue when they signed Harry Kane in the summer.

As such, the betting community could only score odds of 3/10 on them making it a dozen consecutive title wins – while Bayer Leverkusen were considered no more than outsiders at 50/1.

Well, given the nature of this piece, you can probably guess what happened next…

Leverkusen, marshalled by the outstanding coach Xabi Alonso, have trounced the competition, winning their first ever Bundesliga title with games to spare.

Indeed, at the time of writing, they were a mammoth 14 points clear of Bayern with four games left to play.


If you thought Bayern Munich’s monopoly on the German Bundesliga title was impressive, just look at how the Spanish La Liga championship has been shared by Madrid sides Real and Atletico, plus Barcelona, in the modern era.

Between them, they have won the La Liga title every year since 2004 – as dominant a period as you will see anywhere.

So step forward plucky Girona, a reasonably unfashionable Spanish club whose main claim to fame was winning the Second Division back in 2008.

So jaws dropped when the Catalonian outfit found themselves top of La Liga with only a small percentage of the season left to run – these 5,000/1 outsiders couldn’t, could they?

Sadly, they have fallen away at the business end of the campaign – Real Madrid look likely to maintain the top trio’s stranglehold on the trophy, but a top-four finish is still on the cards for Girona… and Champions League football next season.


It’s difficult for small clubs to break through into French football’s elite, with the likes of PSG, Lille, Marseille, Monaco and Lyon so strong.

So a quick word for Stade Brestois, known colloquially as Brest, who find themselves on the verge of a top-four finish in Ligue 1 – and Champions League football next term – despite spending just £3 million on new players this season.
Even in a sport so dominated by money, there are plucky underdog stories to be enjoyed across the continent!